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New Bill Would Abolish Internet Privacy

Say you were the U.S. government and you wanted a record of every moment that every American was on the internet: every search, every transaction, every click. Of every American. And just for laughs, you also wanted every credit card number and bank account number an American used on the internet.

What would you call such a law?

* The No More Internet Privacy bill
* The 1984 Really Is Here Big Brother bill
* The Trust Your Government With Your Privacy bill

No, those wouldn’t be very attractive with voters, would they. So instead, the House Judiciary Committee has just passed the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011.

The bill would require your ISP to maintain a record of your internet activity for a year. Not because you’ve done anything wrong, but because you might. If that strikes you as, well, exactly the kind of government reasoning that made the Soviet Union such a successful and stress-free place, you’re right.

And if you’re wondering what that has to do with protecting children, get in line.

From “National Security? Protecting Kids? Porn Takes the Rap Again“, posted on Sexual Intelligence, by Dr. Marty Klein.  The full article is very much worth reading.

I cannot prove it, but I would not be surprised if the so-called “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act” originated in a concern on the part of our leaders that the internet could be used to promote a rebellion against them.

8 thoughts on “New Bill Would Abolish Internet Privacy”

  1. I would agree with your final thought that this proposed bill is more of a reactionary concern for the government to protect itself from the people. Our ever growing government continues to become more oppressive and desirous to interfere with our everyday lives as they try to tell us what we can do, think, eat, drink, and smoke. A pitch for “the kids” is always a sucker punch to the soft spot in American reasoning.

    Tossing It Out


    1. Yes, a pitch for the kids will do it. That’s what made the war on drugs so appealing. Of course, calling it a “war” helped a lot of people get cozy with the idea of war powers, like a Supreme Court gutting Constitutional protections against warrantless search and seizure. Hey, those protections were only for criminals, right? Surely, they couldn’t have been helpful to political dissidents?


  2. Wonderful. See your previous post on incompetence of the elite. 🙂 This will probably pass just on the name alone, without the representatives digging in to the details of how nasty this could become.

    I wish there was a law which said bills could not be named, so that prejudice of the masses and the representatives would not automatically come into play.


  3. Eh, your ISP has to retain it doesn’t mean anything changes regarding the government’s ability to get at it.

    Unless this bill also gives the government unfettered access to the information, the Fourth Amendment still applies.

    And if it does give the government unfettered access, it’s probably unconstitutional anyway.

    Orwellian alarmism aside, 4th amendment jurisprudence is still extremely robust.


  4. Most computer engineers I talk to say we’ve never had computer privacy and some are therefore very careful about what they do on their computer. Google is a great search engine, but it also watches everything we do. Our thoughts are already being read.


  5. Big Brother is watching you, I’ve actually suspected at times that he already is. You’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you. I figure the GOP thugs have me on a list somewhere. Do I care? No. I’m with Patrick Henry on this one: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

    Then again, Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just a another word for nothin’ left to lose.” If the GOP has its way, that’s all we ordinary mortals will have left, I’m not going down without a fight.


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